By Catherine Ward
I'm afraid I don't know who's idea this was originally but these discovery bottles are turning up in more and more day nurseries and preschools and they're really interesting. Sealing things up in bottles means that you can give babies and toddlers things which would otherwise be unsafe or impractical. They're really cheep and easy to make just make sure you superglue the lids down. There's lots of ideas on the web for things that could go in them (just google discovery bottles) but because I run creche, I've chosen to start with six that look really great for under threes.
Water and blue food colouring
Water, purple food colouring and sunflower oil
Water, glycine, glitter and just the tiniest bit of blue food colouring
Water and clear washing up liquid
Small wooden beads
Pipe cleaners and rice
We're introducing them this Sunday to go with our wise and foolish builders theme. The water, and the rain sounds from the dry bottles, should work really well, and I'll be adding to the collection as I come across more good ideas.
Discovery bottles could be used with older children too, again there are lots of ideas on the web. Hiding story themed things in sand may be a good way start, or do a wet bottle with some things that float and some that sink to use with the story of Jesus walking on the water and a discussion about faith. Of course once children are old enough to manage making them for themselves it might be a craft that they really enjoy.